Rubaru Roshni (2019) - full transcript

The movie traces three real-life incidents that took place in '80s, 90s and 2000s respectively through the stories titled 'Orphan and the Convict', 'The Farmer and the Nun' and 'The Terror and the Mom'.

Namaskar, friends.

Best wishes to everyone
on Republic Day.

A very happy Republic Day
to all of us.

Welcome to this special presentation
from Star and Aamir Khan Productions.

Friends, I've worked on many films
in my 30-year long career.

I've produced around 8-10 films.

I feel that of all the work
I have done so far

the film you are about to view now

is perhaps my most essential
and important work.

The thought and concept of this film

its philosophy,
are very close to my heart.

When I watched this film
for the first time

it had a deep impact on me.

I want to thank all those

who have helped to make this film

especially those who shared
their life-stories with us.

I think they will leave an impact
on all of us.

This film is around two hours long

and there will be one interval
of around 4-5 minutes.

Ordinarily television programs run
with multiple breaks

but this will have just one break.

Barring this break, the film will run
for 2 hours at a stretch.

Please do watch it.

I hope that this film

which has had an impact on me

and on those who have made it

will also make as much of an impact
on you

and that you will also like it.


Do you always carry
these photographs with you?

Yes. Always in my bag.

I never part with them.
I keep them with me.

Just imagine somebody running
with a gun behind my father,

just so that he's dead!

I exactly want to know minute to
minute what happened that day.

Did my father,
on the spot, just fall down?

What did he do? How did it happen?
Where were the dead bodies lying?

What was his expression?
Were his clothes torn?

How much blood went?

And if anybody has clicked,

his dead body's picture
with the blood...

because the photograph I have,

is after he was cleaned.

He was wrapped up in a sheet.

That is what I want to see,
exactly last minute what happened.

May I ask why do you want
to know these details?

Because I want to feel the suffering
my father went through.

On 31st July 1985,

Lalit Maken and his wife
Geetanjali were killed,

at their home in Kirti Nagar,
New Delhi.

Maken was a Congress
Member of Parliament,

and his wife was
a Congress Party worker.

Date was 31st July.

I don't know the exact time,
because I was in school.

I was in Grade One.

And that day,

my cousins Dheeraj and Nidhi,

both were together,
and they were coming down the stairs.

And that day they wanted to
go and see the Parliament.

As we were leaving,
uncle and aunt were a little ahead.

There were two people standing
near a scooter, on our left.

They suddenly took out guns

from a bag

and they started shooting.

Uncle immediately shouted,
"Run inside!"

So I ran up the stairs.

I wasn't the main target.

And right there... downstairs...
they started...

My father passed away
right on the spot.

My mother was still alive.

And hats off
to my paternal grandmother.

She saw her son lying dead.

she picked up her daughter-in-law.

But then, my mother lost her life,

in the hospital, I believe,

in the surgery...
or whatever happened...

And I remember going and kissing her.

Kissing my mother...

And then something like a tear
came out of her eyes.

I don't know medically what it was.

And my uncle wiped the tears.

My maternal grandmother
was a legislator at that time

from Madhya Pradesh.

She came and told me,

"We are taking you along,
but you are not to cry."

And because I promised her,
I didn't cry till they were...

cremated also.

My father used to have
an Ambassador car.

One day, I was sitting in our
Kirti Nagar house, and a car arrived.

And I got up thinking Papa has come,
and then I realized,

"Papa hasn't come... he cannot come."

I live in Ludhiana.

Almost all my childhood
I have lived here,

I have studied in Ludhiana.

I did my Masters
in Genetics and Crop Sciences.

I was a gold medalist in MSc.

Then, after that, I was accepted
for my fellowship for PhD,

in Kansas State in 1985...

when I was completing my MSc.

But, beforehand, because
of the events of 1984,

I had to take a decision.

Either, I go for PhD,

or should I go for the Sikhs.

In 1984, there was rising
disenchantment within Punjab.

And there was a call given by
the Dharam Yudh Morcha,

under the command
of Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale,

that from June 3rd,
they're going to start

the civil disobedience movement.

Meaning, we're not going
to give you any tax.

We're not going to sell you
our produce and things like that.

Then, the Government of India, under
the command of Mrs. Indira Gandhi,

who was at that time
the Prime Minister of India,

ordered the Army attack,

on the Golden Temple.

That was in the first week of June.

And a full-fledged army, like
they were fighting an enemy battle.

[Intense gunfire exchange between
Army and militants at Golden Temple]

There was total military rule
in Punjab.

Civil administration came
under military rule.

And tanks were put up
in universities and colleges.

Even in women's colleges.

That, I have seen myself.

Then, I started talking
to my close friends.

"What to do?"

Our main issue was,

that Sikhs have lost their dignity.

Their pride has been crushed.

Their identity is under crisis.

These three things
were paramount on my mind.

In between,

Indira Gandhi got killed.

[Mrs. Gandhi is assassinated.
Her son takes over.]

[Indira Gandhi, the ruler
of the world's largest democracy]

[died today.]

[Shot down by
two of her own bodyguards.]

[They were Sikhs taking revenge]

[for the invasion
of their temple in June.]

And it was a sign of jubilation
for Sikhs.

People did stop buses,

and forced people to eat sweets...

Hindu people.

[But already tonight
the tensions between]

[the majority Hindus
and the Sikh community, ]

[are spilling over into violence.]

What we heard
on the next day was that,

Sikhs have been made targets.

And they are being attacked
by the mobs... angry mobs,

which were supposedly Hindu, mostly.

And they were looting
their places of business.

They were destroying their houses.

They were literally
burning Sikhs alive.

That thing shook us.

I went to railway stations to...

to receive people who were coming
from Delhi, from Kanpur

from other places,

as sympathy.

What could we do?
We could just guide them,

help them look
for accommodation somewhere...

whatever it was.

I went to Delhi after 13 days.

I've seen the refugee camps.

At that time around 50,000 Sikhs
were living in refugee camps.

Then, we read that book.

The book came after
a month and a half or so,

'Who Are The Guilty?'

It was a fact-finding report.

It came out in the end of November.

And I read it in December of 1984.

In that book,

there was a detailed description
of the events,

after the assassination
of Mrs. Indira Gandhi.

And then they named
the main perpetrators of that carnage

who were the sitting MPs in Delhi
representing the Congress Party.

That made me resolve that

no matter what it takes

we will go after the people
who are behind the riots.

Within, I think, 20th of July,

we were in Delhi.

In one day we could've killed
three of them.

Information was given to us by Sikh
sympathizers inside the Congress.

Then we thought, which could be
the easiest target...

rather than going for all the kills.

For that, Lalit Maken, when
we tracked his house,

where he used to hold
his meetings in Kirti Nagar...

that was the safest.

[Member of Parliament, Lalit Maken
and wife killed]

When we killed Maken...

we hit him when he came out.

He was hit eight or nine times,

on the first attempt.

But still, he got up.

He rose up and went
back to his house.

Walked, diligently.

We thought
that we weren't successful.

So, we had to take
a bigger weapon, sten gun.

At that time his wife,

she leapt on him.

She came out of the house?

Yes, she came...
He went inside the verandah.

Inside the house.

Verandah of his house? House...

And she leapt on him.

Meaning she hugged him?
She just lay on him.

She lay on him?

Our people tried to take her aside.

But, they were unsuccessful.
And we were short of time.

Then, there was no option
other than to hit them.

Then he was hit with 28 bullets.

With a sten gun?

Sten gun.

And she?

She was hit, too.

There was an eye for an eye.

We needed it.

That's what you felt?
Yeah, we felt it.

Till date...

my father is...

the main...

He has left a very big vacuum
in my life.

I don't think I can love
any man the way I've...

neither my sons nor anybody.

I am totally my father's daughter.

I was extremely possessive about him.

I couldn't even share him
with my mother.

I used to keep telling him,

"When I grow up,
I am going to marry you."

How old were you when
your parents passed away?

You can say, six.
My birthday was on 10th August.

And at that time if anyone asked me,

"What do you want to be
when you grow up?"

I would say, "I want to kill
the people who killed my parents."

That anger was definitely there that,

I have to kill these people, anyhow!

Come what may, I have to
avenge my parents.

If I met the killer at that time,
even as a child,

even if I couldn't do anything

I would've wanted
to kill that person.

Suddenly, it happened.

He didn't come home.

We were worried.

The police came asking,

"Where did your son go?"

"How did he become a revolutionary?"

I said,
"I don't know anything about this."

After that,

15 days went by, then a month.

But we couldn't find him.

The police launched
a nationwide manhunt

but Kuki evaded arrest.

Soon, he escaped
to the United States,

with his friend, Sukhi...
Sukhminder Singh Sandhu.

I went to the US
on 28th February, 1986.

We wanted to know
what kind of support we have.

If we're going to fight against the
Indian nation for a separate state,

we need some support...

from somewhere.

Then, we started contacting
the Sikhs,

who were the main, prominent,

protagonists of the Sikh movement.

You can call it the Khalistan
movement or whatever you want.

So, we told them exactly how it is
in Punjab and what we can do,

and we have to seek the support
of the Pakistan government.


But Pakistan was not agreeable.

They were asking for money
and other things like that.

So, ultimately,

we told our friends who were
running the movement,

that we had no support.

So, we decided we should go back.

Go back to India.

Let's see.

Whether we live or die,
we will fight for it.

And we got arrested in
the middle of that day.

And that was 14th May, 1987.

Kuki and Sukhi were arrested

by the American authorities
in New Jersey,

just as they were preparing
to fly out of the US.

Firstly, the Interpol warrant
was against us,

for suspicion of being involved
in the conspiracy,

to kill General Vaidya, who was
the Chief of the Indian Army,

during the Indian Army attack
on the Golden Temple.

Secondly, I was...

named in the killing of Lalit Maken.

And Sukhi was charged with

the conspiracy
to kill General Vaidya.

There's a saying
in our holy scripture, the Gurbani,

"Whatever happens is His will."

"Whatever happens is His will."

But my wife, Surjeet Kaur...

she was heartbroken.

He was our youngest child.

She loved him a lot.

When my parents passed away,

my mother's sister, who lives
in Chandigarh, wanted to keep me,

and my father's sister
wanted to keep me, too.

The Sharmas didn't let me
stay with my father's sister.

And the Makens didn't let me
stay with my mother's sister.

They went to court over my custody,

and ultimately no one took me.

I know Avantika since 1987

when she was enrolled
at boarding school,

Maharani Gayatri Devi Girls' School.

It was the first time Avantika
came to a boarding school.

She was very bubbly
and energetic.

We got along very well.

There was a lot of anger in her.

That's something we used to see
because she used to get angry.

But definitely we didn't know
that she had lost her parents.

At least I didn't know, as she
came in earlier, but Shweta knew.

I got to know a little later,

and that's when you realize...

Now we realize that
not having parents is...

it's almost like
the end of the world.

Avantika had brought her mother's
vanity case to school

she was in grade three.

It had lipsticks, nail paints,
as it is.

Yes. Avantika's mother's.
I'm getting goose bumps.

Avantika shared with me that
the day her parents died,

she was sent to school
in the morning.

And her mother was angry
with Avantika for some reason.

Her mother scolded, "I won't come
to pick you from school today."

And... then the event happened.

So somewhere it was there
in her mind...

"Maybe, if mother hadn't said that,
she might still be here."

On 25th July, 1992,

Avantika's maternal grandfather,
Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma,

was sworn in as
the ninth President of India.

Avantika, then 12 years old,

returned to Delhi to live
with her maternal grandparents,

after having spent four years
at boarding school.

Rashtrapati Bhavan is like
paradise on earth.

The biggest presidential palace
in the world.

I had my own room there.

I learnt how to swim there.

I learnt how to play the piano there.

I learnt a lot.

I travelled a lot.

Because they took me for every trip.

My grandmother was happy that
I had returned from boarding school.

But the people around my grandmother
didn't want me there.

And those relatives didn't want me
to even play with their children.

They used to say,
"Avantika is very rash."

"Avantika is crazy."

Even as a teenager,
I was a topic of discussion.

I still remember,
once I was half asleep,

and some elders of the family
were criticizing me,

and I could hear them.

And I was pretending to be asleep,

because I didn't have the courage
to confront them,

and say, "I can hear you."

I still remember,
there's a retreat near Shimla,

which is supposed to be the summer
house for the President of India.

I still remember, we went there,

and while walking in the garden,
I said,

"I am missing home a lot."

One of my relatives retorted,
"What home do you have?"

See, however harsh it might sound,

the fact is I'm an orphan.

I've been fond of training
since I was in jail.

Prison walls are such,

that once you enter,
your brain gets shut down.

One layer after another collapses.

To protect yourself
from that collapse,

you have to fill it up
with something.

We were locked up
in a prison within a prison,

on the 9th floor.

It was called
Metropolitan Correctional Center.

It was famously called,

the prison...

where people become dumb,

or they become numb.

American jail life starts
at 6 o'clock in the morning.

First thing, you have to...

you have to go
to take your breakfast.

They give you cereals, porridge,

and two cartons of milk,
and fruit.

After that, either you go back
to your cell

or you are assigned a job...

I took the job for mopping
and cleaning up of the main floor.

We had a small yard,

where we could do
some push ups, pull ups.

Health-wise, you could exercise.

Otherwise to fill up your mind,
you had to read.

On the surface
it looks very reasonable...

if we compare it to Indian standards.

But, the sense of fear...

the fear of...

being enclosed within 8 to 10 yards.

We were kept in a facility which is
only built for 90 days.

In 90 days,
either your trial is finished...

either you go out,

or you go to the bigger prisons.

Whatever your sentence is.

And you can well imagine,
in that 90-day facility,

I spent 10 years.

I never saw greenery for 10 years.


We could see the rain,

but, we couldn't feel it.

Time stops.

If you are sitting in the same room,
day after day,

time stops.

How to survive another day?

It's a day-to-day existence.

And we had no hope
that we would ever come out.

But, in our minds, we had
to keep ourselves alive...

that we will make it,

no matter what happens.

What did you miss the most?

Inside prison?


Nothing compares with freedom.

At that time I thought...

even if they give me
one hour to sit outside,

of the prison,

that will be the biggest moment
of my life.

My grandparents,
paternal or maternal,

deserve a 100 out of 100,
with whatever they have done for me.

But once you start growing up,

that's the time you realize
that you really need parents.

Grandparents can do
whatever best they can do

but nobody can compensate
for parents.

So I think a lot of things
which happened in my life,

whether it was my first marriage
or whatever...

Because getting married
at the age of 18,

and having a baby at the age of 19...

That was, I think, just wanting
to have someone of my own.

I wanted a home of my own,
my own family,

people who would be entirely my own.

When Anirudh was born,
I was so happy.

After I had conceived him, I remember
giving the high school exams.

Anirudh was like...

my child, my blood.

This was when Anirudh
was 40 days old.

After Anirudh was born,
and when I was around 22-23,

my ex-husband kind of deserted me.

So I was on my own and
it was very difficult,

whether it was financially...

because, I didn't have any support
system, be it parents or siblings.

I never wanted Anirudh
to feel left out in any way.

Although I feel extremely sorry...
for Anirudh...

because he has had a very tough life.

So, Anirudh... I just...

Anirudh went through a lot.

I feel very sorry because,

I was very young,

and I couldn't support him
the way I should have.

We always used to be together.

We studied in the same school,
slept in the same room,

till I got married.

He was a lovable,
affectionate brother.

Sometimes naughty.

Every alternate day, he wrote me
a letter, from jail.

With your brother being in jail,
what did you go through?

You know, being a sister,
a lot of things.

I felt very hurt.

Maybe... I was hurt... not knowing
whether I would see him alive again.

Kuki and Sukhi remained in prison
for well over a decade.

First in New York
and then at Otisville.

The Indian government waged a long
legal battle for their extradition.

Sikhs in the United States hired
prominent human rights lawyers,

to defend Kuki and Sukhi.

14 years after his arrest,

Kuki won a judicial victory
in his extradition case.

I got denial of extradition.

The US government acted in my favour.

Sukhi's extradition was granted.

But he could've appealed
to a higher court.

But, by that time,
we had made up our minds.

Whether we win or we lose,

we're going back.

It was 14 years.

We said that we'll face
whatever happens.

We remember the day
he was extradited.

The police were everywhere.

He was taken away in a car.
They told us, "Kuki is in that car."

We went to meet him the next day.

- Where?
- Tihar jail.

He said, "No, Devinder.
You should not come here."

I said, "No, I will come."

That was my first experience
of Indian prisons.

There's just a bare cell.

On a cemented,
lifted bed type of thing,

there are two blankets,

which you can smell
from 15 yards away.

As you know, in India,

the case lingered on.

And the verdict came in 2003.

The judge said, "Devinder..."
He took father's name too...

"Dr. Gill, Ranjit is convicted."

So Kukiji, the Sessions Court
refused to consider

the 14 years you've spent
in prison in the US.

You were convicted for life.

You tell me, Svati, what to do?

But, he wrote in his judgment,

"No doubt he's a convict,

but he's not a criminal."

"And I urge the government of Delhi,

to sympathetically look at his case,
for early release."

At that time Sheila Dikshit was
the Chief Minister of Delhi.

Judge told me, "Devinder,
go to Sheila Dikshit"

and ask for his remission."

But, they deferred my case.

Who deferred your case?
Sheila Dikshit.

They had a parole board hearing.

But Avantika Maken did not agree...

to my release.

I lost my childhood
at the age of six.

I have lost everything,
they haven't lost anything.

How can they decide?

Then I called up
Sheila Dikshit's assistant.

I said,

"If you do anything to free him,

I will start a protest
outside the Chief Minister's house."

I said, "Nothing doing!
He has to go behind bars."

Because I lost my childhood,
I lost my parents.

I have lived with that.
I wanted him to be behind bars.

I went to the extent of saying,
"Why put behind bars? Hang him!"

This is the pendant she was wearing,

when she was shot dead so
you can see the blood here.

Till I am alive,
I will not get it washed.

It was January 2004.

Kuki was serving the fourth year
of his life sentence at Tihar Jail,

when his sister Devinder brought news

that their mother was dying.

My husband did the ultra sound.

We came to know,

nodular liver, which means cancer.

She will live for six months or so.

He gave me a certificate
on Sunday night.

And by Monday my father went

to apply for his bail
in the High Court.

Even then, the judges didn't agree.

My father even put up his
Padmabhushan Award, as guarantee.

They threw it away.

They just threw it away.

Then, by February,

somehow they agreed,

for interim bail of 14 days.

The day he came, we all were
waiting for him.

My husband, myself...

He just entered the house.

Early in the morning.

He was coming back home
after so many years.

After 19 years or so.

He was 23 when he went.

And my brother was 43
when he returned.

We knew our end was either
in the prison,

or die in torture,

or being killed by the police.

I never thought that
I would come back to India.

Or even to my neighbourhood.

Even to my own house.

My husband has also come.

Go, call your father.

Me and Ashokji
are very different people.

He was the President of NSUI and
I was the General Secretary of NSUI,

the frontal student organization
of the Congress Party.

Two things which really attracted me
towards him were...

one, that he was
a very nature loving person.

And he was a very simple man.

And actually... I proposed to him.

I straightaway proposed marriage.

And 30th June we got married.

And we are so close, me and Ashokji,
that any little decision also

people laugh at how we consult
each other.

After his 14-day bail ran out.

Kuki struggled to extend
his parole a few days at a time.

He managed to stay on in Ludhiana
under strict surveillance,

with daily visits
to the police station.

It was around this period
that his family learnt,

that Avantika was visiting Ludhiana.

One of Kuki's friends,
a journalist, Amrita Chaudhry...

she rang me up in May 2004.

She asked me,

"Avantika Maken is here...

for Mr. Manish Tiwari's campaign."

"In Ludhiana."

"For one day."

"Do you want to meet her,

for Ranjit's remission?"

I said, "Yes. Of course!"

When I went to Ludhiana,
I was campaigning for Manish Tiwari.

Some journalist realized,
I was Avantika Maken.

She said,
"You're Lalit Maken's daughter?"

She said,
"Would you like to meet Kuki?"

And I said, "Who's Kuki?", because
we knew him as Ranjit Singh Gill.

I'm a person who really
doesn't think before doing anything.

I just do it.

It's spontaneous.

If I feel like doing it,
I just do it.

Somebody said, "You want to meet?"

I said, "I've no problem meeting."

Then the journalist called again,

"Avantika is asking how many people
do you want to bring?"

I said, "I want to bring my brother
along with me."

I still remember,
we met at a restaurant.

He came with his sister.

I saw a number of bodyguards
on the side.

And I went in, scared.

My brother was in full spirits.

But I was nervous when I entered.

I went in there.

She was sitting alone in that room,

with full security.

I shook her hand.

I sat with her...

It took some silence.

Then, I said,

"We are sitting now

because of the fallout
of the political events of 1984."

"Why did you kill my parents?"

- She asked?
- She asked Kuki.

She only asked,
"Why did you kill my parents?"

I said that their names
came up in the book.

Lalit Maken's name came up,

in 'Who Are The Guilty?'

She was a little taken aback.
She didn't exactly know about it.

Then, she said, "Why my mother?"

I said, "I feel sorry for that."

"We tried to do whatever
was possible to separate her."

"But she was his partner."

"And she lived it, too."

Then what happened?

Then we talked openly.

"It was a political act."

"Things happened.
It shouldn't have happened."

Then she started talking
about her childhood,

and how troubled she was.

"Think about what my life was
without my parents."

"I was just a little girl then",
she said.

She was crying. I was crying.

After that we were all silent
for a while...

Then I said, "If you have any grouse,
please vent it out."

"But, please, let him be released
He shouldn't go back to jail."

When I met Kuki himself, he was a...

It was impossible for me to believe
that he could have done what he did.

That wasn't the picture
that I had in mind at all.

You know there was a lot of anger.

There's a lot of misunderstanding.

There're lots of other things
in your mind.

But, when you meet, it changes.

Then, she said, "Okay. I'll see."

Then she said bye to us.

And then, she came back again.

Within three days, she came back.

Second trip, I came with Ashokji.

Ashokji left for his meeting.
And I went to Kuki's residence,

and I had lunch with his parents.

My mother was sitting
with folded hands.

I said, "You are the granddaughter
of the President of India."

"Coming to our place,
that too for doing our job,

to release my...
permanent release of my brother."

"I'm thankful to you, Avantika"

I have seen my grandparents crying
for their children.

I remember my grandparents howling
for their kids.

I didn't want another couple
to go through that kind of pain.

My parents are not coming back.

But, with a little gesture of mine,

if somebody's family can be saved,
then why not?

I have met this person,
I am seeing the family suffering.

It was like a replay
of what happened in my family.

And that was a movement.
He must have been brainwashed,

lot of things must have happened,
there must have been a lot of anger.

And it's not that
only I have suffered,

even he has suffered.

I have suffered
in a different manner,

he has suffered
in a different manner.

And he had been punished enough.

And the next day she went
to meet the Chief Minister.

It came in the press.

And she openly urged that I be
released as soon as I can be.

You have to be really big-hearted
to do what Avantika did.

Were I in her place,
I'd never have been able to do it.

People like me never get
a second chance.

But, I got it.

I'm thankful.

Ranjit Singh Gill Kuki was released
from jail permanently in 2009.

He now writes for a news portal
based out of Punjab.

He is married to Sarbjyot Kaur,

and they have
a six-year-old daughter, Gneev.


Do you know
why these people are here?


- You don't know?
- No.

You remember your daughter Rani?

They are making a film about Rani.

They want to speak to you.

Why are you crying?

I don't know.

You should be happy.

Please smile, mother.

I can't.

You should try.

There... that's nice.

You are asking me to smile.

You should not cry, mother.

How long will you keep crying?

You've been crying for 21 years.

Is it 21 years?

Yes, 21 years have passed.

Since my daughter...?

Yes, since your daughter died.

So many years...

I think you should cheer up now.

How can I? I keep thinking
of my daughter, Rani.

On the 25th of February, 1995,

Sister Rani Maria,
a 41-year old nun from Kerala,

was stabbed to death near the town of
Udainagar in Madhya Pradesh.

Rani Maria was killed
in broad daylight

while travelling on a bus,
carrying passengers to a nearby city.

That day, Rani Maria,

was to go to Kerala.

So I was waiting for her.

I was in Bhopal,

she was in Udainagar.

She had to travel in the morning
from Udainagar to Bhopal.

So, that night, by Kerala Express,
both of us had to leave for Kerala

for a meeting.

At 12.45, I got the message...

I got the phone call...
I, myself, answered the phone.

Then I was told,

"She was killed.
Rani Maria was killed!"

"And you have to come to Udainagar,

and collect the dead body."

First stabbing was on the hand,

then she was holding the iron bar,

and he kept on stabbing.

Like that... 54 wounds, she got.

Then the driver said,
"Don't do it in the bus."

So he pulled her down.

This is the spot
where she was pulled down.

When this attack took place,

I was at our Provincial House
in Bhopal.

I was ill.

What were you suffering from?
I was suffering from cancer.

I was devastated...

because it was I who had
been counting my days.

I asked God,

"Why did You snatch
my sister away so soon?"

"I have cancer,
I am in a serious condition."

"Why didn't You take me instead?"

"My sister was doing
such good work."

"Why did You take her, God?"
I kept asking God these questions.

"All she did was serve the poor."

"She fulfilled Your will."

"Then why did she meet
with such a fate?"

"Why did You let this happen, God?"

"My sister died all alone
in the forest."

"No one was with her."

"She died inch-by-inch.
Why did You let her die this way?"

I kept asking God these questions.

Today is 25th February.

It's on this day,
that Sister Rani Maria passed away.

Or you may say she was martyred.

And we've all gathered here
to remember her.

I was with her since the year 1990.

Together we had formed
a self-help group,

and we gave small farmers
manure, seeds...

It's impossible to enumerate,

all that Rani Maria did
for our village in five years.

The most important thing she did,
was to solve our severe water crisis.

This whole area was dry.

Women were forced to walk
three kilometers to fetch water.

This water supply system
that you see here

was built with Rani Maria's support.

This tube well here and pipeline
supply water to the entire village.

Even today, the whole village
gets water from here.

Each household has been
given a connection.

The idea was Rani Maria's,

the money came from the government,
and the labour was ours.

Her heart was always
with the underprivileged.

She didn't believe in charity
or giving handouts.

Her goal was to empower people,
and become self-reliant.

The poor people of this area,

used to go to the moneylenders,

to borrow money for cultivation.

The farmers would go
to the moneylenders for loans,

and the moneylenders charged them
double interest rates.

Then my sister told the farmers
about bank loans.

She helped them start
cottage industries.

In these ways people started
saving some money.

the moneylenders and landlords

didn't like this.

She was a hindrance
for the moneylenders,

as their income was decreasing.

That was one of the things.

Then, they thought that we are
converting the people here.

In my village, nobody knows
their exact birth date.

Just a handful may know
the year of their birth.

"The year unseasonal rain
ruined the crop..."

That's how dates are identified.

But I guess I was born in 1966.

I was born here in Semaliya Raimal.

I grew up here.

My entire life
has been spent here...

It happened on 25th February, 1995.

That day I was travelling
from Udainagar to Indore

with some landlords.

Sister also boarded the same bus.

- Sister Rani Maria?
- Yes.

Just a few days prior, a landlord
had been beaten up by some tribals.

The landlords blamed
Sister Rani Maria for the attack.

They told me,

"We were attacked by people
converted by the missionaries,"

and the missionaries
will eventually destroy

"our Hindu organizations
and community."

At first, I was sitting
with the landlords,

on the long passenger seat
in the driver's cabin.

Then, when the landlords
started instigating me,

they said, "Don't sit with us, other
passengers will get suspicious."

So, I got up and stood near
the entrance.

Then they started signaling me
to attack.

Q: How many shots did you fire?

Kasab: I don't know.
We just kept firing.

Q: Whom were you told to kill?

Q: Whom were you told to kill?

Q: For how long did you
plan to operate today?

They ordered us, "Until you're alive
keep firing, dogs!"

But I wasn't able to gather
the courage.

I found the courage...

I attacked Sister Rani Maria.

I attacked her with a knife.

I stabbed her once, twice...

then I lost control.
I couldn't stop stabbing her.

It was as if I was possessed.

Had anyone intervened
at that moment,

I would have stabbed them as well.

Until the victim dies,
you can't stop.

What did Sister Rani Maria do?

She kept praying.

She'd realized that the landlords
were behind the attack.

She kept calling out, "Jesus, Jesus!"

She was calling out to Jesus?

She didn't ask anyone for help.

I was unstoppable,
I dragged her out of the bus.

After dragging her down,
I stabbed her a few more times.

She breathed her last.

In those days

people believed Christians would
forcibly convert all the Hindus

and enslave our country.

I believed that every Hindu
who gets converted,

becomes an enemy of the nation.

There was hardly any newspaper
or television in my village.

One could easily be misled.

And the landlords who were educated
in the cities, would fool us.

They manipulated us.

I trusted them blindly.

I always believed what they said.

The landlords would choose
a gullible villager,

who could easily be conned.

They'd treat you to a few good meals,
give you some importance.

They'd say a few flattering things.

Did they offer bribes?

No. It's not that they offer money.

They just show you rosy dreams.

They make you believe that
you are special and important.

It was all just an illusion.

And ultimately,
the illusion shattered.

Within three days,
the murderers were arrested.

Samundar was the first
to be caught.

The other two were caught
the next day.

A week after my sister's death,
a priest told me,

"Selmi, you shouldn't pursue
the case.

As Christians, we should forgive."

"You should go to prison,
meet them and forgive them."

This was just a week
after the murder.

I was still very angry,

and wanted to pursue the case.

I felt that I was not yet ready
to meet the killer.

Ready, as in...

I needed time to prepare
myself, mentally and spiritually.

Because going to meet him in prison

wasn't an easy thing to do.

I had to prepare myself spiritually.

So I stayed at Udainagar and prayed.

Everyday, I sat in church

and prayed for everyone.

What was the court's verdict?

Life imprisonment.

Life imprisonment?
Life imprisonment.

And what about the landlords
who were with you?

They were also sentenced for life.

Then we appealed to the High Court,

and the landlords got bail
right away.

From the High Court?
Yes, from the High Court.

And my bail was rejected.

For how long were
the landlords behind bars?

Four months in all.

In prison, I kept asking myself,

"Why did I make such a huge mistake?"

"Why did I kill her?"

I couldn't find an answer.

And no matter how deep my regret,

it wasn't going to bring Sister
back to life.

I had blinding headaches.

When I tried to read
the newspaper, I couldn't.

My vision would blur with tears.

One day, a High Court judge came
to visit the prison.

I pleaded with him,

"Sir, I am disturbed and depressed,

and my family members are starving."

The judge said just one thing,

"Imagine the suffering you inflicted
on the person you killed."

"Imagine the suffering
of her family members."

"If you pick up a cane
and hit yourself with it,

won't you feel pain?"

"Now, imagine the pain
the person you killed went through."

That day I realized,
my troubles were nothing,

compared to the excruciating pain,

I had put Sister Rani Maria through.

Look, it's hardly grown.

How will these onions grow
when there isn't enough water...

The water supply has reduced further
since the last 15 days,

and if even this dries up,
what will I do?

In the years after
her sister's murder,

Selmi won her battle against cancer,

and became a teacher
at the Rani Maria Memorial School.

And to build the fortitude
to forgive her sister's killers,

she continued to seek strength
in prayer.

"Lord, have mercy on them."

God is merciful... but I should also
feel like being merciful.

That's what I prayed for.

Seven years went by.

Then, in the year 2002,

a Catholic priest
called Swami Sadanand,

reached out to Sister Selmi
and Samundar.

Swami Sadanand had been working
for several years with convicts,

in the prisons of Madhya Pradesh.

Swamiji, what do you tell prisoners
when you visit them in jails?

First I sing a few bhajans.

Then I ask them,

"Is it better to inhale or exhale?"

First they say, "Inhaling is better."

Then they say, "Exhaling is better."

Then they agree that both are equal.

Then I ask them,
"Is day better or night better?"

Some say day, some say night.

Then all agree both are equal.

"Is summer better or winter better?"

"Both are equal."

In the same way,

in life, joy and sorrow are equal.

Until you accept them both as equal,

you cannot truly become
a human being.

So I say,
if inhaling and exhaling are equal,

if joy and sorrow are equal,

enemy and friend are also equal.

Both are just an experience.

Accept them both as an experience.

Only then can you rise above them.

One day, in prison,
the Jailor sent for me.

He said, "Someone has come
to see you."

I asked, "Who is it?"

"Some monk," the Jailor replied.

I knew nothing about
Swami Sadanandji at that time.

I bowed and paid my respects
to the monk.

Then, I asked who he was and
where he had come from.

The monk introduced himself
as Sister Rani Maria's brother.

He said he wanted to speak to me.

A chill ran down my spine.

I wondered why Swamiji
had come to meet me

though I'd committed
such a terrible crime!

The next time Swamiji came, he said,

"Sister Selmi would like to
tie you a rakhi."

I said,
"Swamiji, how is that possible?"

"How can I stand before Sister?"

"What will I say?"

"How will I explain
what I have done?"

On July 15, 2002, I received
a phone call from Swamiji.

I had never met or
spoken to Swamiji before that.

He asked me, "Are you willing
to meet Samundar in jail?"

I replied, "Swamiji, this is what
I've been waiting for."

"I am prepared."

July 20, 2002... Rakhi.

I didn't know much about rakhi

as it isn't a custom in Kerala.

I'd only heard about it...

knew that it signifies
a bond between brother and sister.

I just kept praying for Samundar

and blessing him
as I sat in the car.

I wasn't in the mood to speak
to anyone.

As soon as we reached the prison,
a policeman took me inside.

Another policeman
brought Samundar out.

I had never seen him before.

Swamiji said, "This is Samundar."

Samundar was trembling.

Then Swamiji introduced me
to Samundar,

"This is Rani Maria's
younger sister."

Samundar said,
"Forgive me... forgive me."

"I made a big mistake.
I'm repenting now."

I said to him, "God has already
forgiven you."

"I had also forgiven you."

"It has just taken me
some time to come and meet you."

"Please be at peace."

The police didn't give us
a lot of time.

So I quickly tied
the rakhi on his wrist.

Yes, I did.

I had brought sweets
from the Convent.

When I offered him some,

Samundar took it from my hand
and fed me a piece,

and then gave everyone a bit.

I don't know why...
it brought me great joy.

A brother, feeding
his sister sweets...

it was a blissful moment.

That was a happy day
and a terribly sad one, too.

There were a few moments of pure joy,

and some moments of intense grief.

Grief, because here I was, the man
who'd killed her elder sister.

And yet, she'd tied me a rakhi,

when in fact,
I don't even deserve to live.

But I had promised to accept the
brother-sister bond rakhi signifies.

No matter how ashamed I felt,

I had to live with it.

And then I also felt happy.

The happiness came from the fact,

that despite the crime
I had committed,

Sister Selmi made me her brother...

gave me another chance at life.

No sister would want her brother
to be in prison,

then how could I allow it.

If I have truly forgiven him then

I should not allow him
to be in prison.

I felt that from within.

So, I asked Swamiji, "What can we do
for Samundar?"

Swamiji was already prepared.

Within months of her visit to jail,

Sister Selmi
with Swami Sadanand's help,

initiated legal processes
for the remission

of Samundar Singh's life sentence.

In the year 2006,

Samundar was released
from prison, permanently.

Soon after his release,

Samundar journeyed across 2000 kms,

from Madhya Pradesh to Kerala.

Samundar came home with Swamiji.

He reached Kerala.

In Kerala, I saw tears
in Sister Rani Maria's parents' eyes.

There were tears in her brother
Stephen's eyes.

I was so distressed,
I didn't know what to do.

I had no answers.

My mind just stopped working...

because it was beyond
my worst imagination.

When Samundar entered
my sister's room

he broke down
in front of her photograph.

He was inconsolable.

Then mother said,
"I have forgiven you completely."

"You are my son, now."

She accepted him as her third son.

This pond is thousands of years old.

Compared to that,
we humans live momentarily.

We are fortunate to be born
as humans.

And as humans, if we
behave like brutes, then...

It's impossible for me
to forgive myself.

What right do I have
to forgive myself?

No one has the right to commit
a crime and then forgive himself.

Yes, if you do a lot of good deeds,

there may be some redemption.

But not complete forgiveness.

Six minutes back... an explosion
and we have the pictures there,

on your screens as you can see.

In fact it was not an explosion
but you can see fire,

coming out of the top
of the dome of the old Taj hotel,

and a huge plume of smoke.

On that day, Oprah Winfrey was
gonna be on at 4 o'clock.

So I was making tea

and getting some cheese and crackers
ready and all of that.

And then the phone rang
in my mother's kitchen.

I was nearby so I just picked it up.

And it was the Managing Director
of Synchronicity,

Bobby Garvi.

And she said, "Kia, you have to
turn on the news right away."

And she said, "The Oberoi hotel
is being attacked by terrorists."

On 26th November, 2008,

ten members of Lashkar-e-Toiba,

an Islamic terrorist organization
based in Pakistan,

carried out a series
of co-ordinated shooting,

and bombing attacks in Mumbai.

The terrorists targeted 12 locations
in the southern part of the city.

These included
Mumbai's iconic train station,

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus,

Cama and Albless Public Hospital
for Women and Children,

a popular bar and restaurant
called Leopold Cafe,

the Jewish Community Centre,

and two of Mumbai's
top five star hotels...

The Taj and the Oberoi Trident.

At first they weren't mentioning
Oberoi. It was all about the Taj.

But then, as it went on, they started
mentioning other locations.

The train station, Leopold's, and
then they did mention Oberoi hotel.

Kia Scherr, her husband Alan
and their daughter Naomi,

lived in Virginia,

and were part of a meditation
community called Synchronicity.

In the middle of November 2008,
Kia was in the US,

visiting her parents
for Thanksgiving,

while Alan and Naomi came to Mumbai
for a group meditation retreat.

The group's Indian hosts,
had organized their stay

at the Oberoi Trident.

And I was speculating
what time it was...

they must be in their rooms.

Just kept saying, "They must be
in their rooms, by now."

"I'm sure they're fine.
They're in their rooms."

Late on the evening of the 26th,

Alan, Naomi and a few members
of the meditation group,

Helen, Michael and Linda,

had settled down to have dinner at
the Oberoi's Tiffin restaurant.

Much later we got another call,

from Bobby and she said that,

"This is what we know so far."

"That everybody in the group
has been accounted for."

"But... we're not sure
about Alan and Naomi."

And I said, "What do you mean?"

She said, "Well, we know that
Alan took a shot to the head."

"And Naomi was last seen hiding under
the table. That's what we heard..."

"But nothing's been confirmed and
we don't know... we don't know."

The terrorists claimed 164 lives.

Over 300 people were injured,
several grievously.

The terror ended
after 60 agonizing hours.

6 am...

The phone rings.

Let's see... that was Friday. So it
would have been Friday late...

early evening,
late afternoon in Mumbai.

And it was a woman
from the US Consulate.

And she just...

I feel really bad for her that
she had to do this but...

that was her job and she said,

"I'm so sorry, Mrs. Scherr."

"Your husband and daughter were both
shot and killed in the restaurant."

And I couldn't believe it.
I said, "Both of them?"

'Cause I figured...
I was kind of thinking,

"Okay, I'm going to have to accept
that Alan might not have made it."

But because Naomi
was hiding under the table,

never in a million years
did I ever think...

that she, too...
I just couldn't believe it.

So it was like... I just kept saying,
"Both of them? You sure?"

And she just... what could she say.
She said, "I'm so sorry."

They're over in India and...
what do you...

and anyway... it's just...

Like there's nothing to say.
And then we just wanted to...

I don't know... for some reason
we just kept staring at this...

whatever information we could get.

The news...

Yes, and we still kept
just staring at the news,

and that's when I saw
for the first time,

the face of Ajmal Kasab.

This young man... holding the gun
at the train station.

As the city laid its martyrs to rest,

a bustling metropolis
was plunged into mourning.

I think it was so big. I...

just a state of shock and you go into
a surreal kind of a state,

because it was too big
to even process really.

Of course, I broke down and cried,

but I wasn't sobbing constantly
for days

because I couldn't, I was in shock.

But then I had to go and...
pack up things.

I had to look at photographs
and stuffed animals,

and drawings and books, clothing...

and I had to do all of that.

And there was this giveaway shed,

near where we were living,

where you could just
bring things in the shed,

and people could go take what they
needed and they might bring things.

One day I went with a box
of Naomi's clothes.

And there was a woman there and she
recognized me from the newspaper,

and she knew exactly...

I'd never met her before.

And she just looked at that box

cause it was sort of still open
on top and saw,

t-shirts and jeans
and all this and...

She said, "I know you."

And she just gave me a big hug.

Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus

had suffered the maximum number of
casualties during the terror attack.

Ajmal Amir Kasab,
who with his partner,

had killed 58 people
at the train terminus,

was the lone terrorist
captured alive.

Q: What is the name
of your organization?

Kasab: Lashkar-e-Toiba.

Q: Any other organization?

Kasab: No,
just Mujahideen Lashkar-e-Toiba.

Q: Who are your family members?
Kasab: My mother, my sister.

Q: What's your mother's name?
Kasab: Noor Ilahee.

Q: What's your father's name?
Kasab: Amir.

What was his occupation?

He sold street food in our village

and then in Lahore.

But he couldn't make ends meet.

Q: How much have you studied?

Kasab: I studied till
the fourth grade.

Q: What did you do
after leaving school?

Kasab: I started working
as a labourer.

I first worked in the village
and then in Lahore.

I lifted cement and bricks...

Q: You were on a building site?

Yes. But I was not getting
enough work to make a living.

Then my father introduced me
to the Lashkar-e-Toiba.

Q: How?

My father said,

"Look son, we are very poor.
If you work with them,"

"you will earn enough money to live
comfortably like them."

"It's not difficult."

"We will get money.
We won't remain poor."

"Your siblings will be
able to get married."

"Look son"

"you will also earn
and live comfortably like they do."

Q: How did they describe Jihad
to you?

"It's honourable,
it's like serving God."

That's what they said.

Q: If you hadn't been captured
by the police,

you would have died, isn't it?

Q: Why were you ready
to sacrifice your life?

Q: Surely it was something
more than money.

Sir, it's nothing other than poverty.
Poverty is a terrible thing.

When you have nothing to eat, nothing
to wear, what else can you do?

Q: How much did they transfer
to your account?

I don't have an account.
They paid my father.

Q: How much did they give him?

I don't know, may be lakhs.

Q: Do you think your father has
this much money right now?

Maybe... he might.

Q: So, your father used you, right?

Kasab: Whatever you say, sir.

Q: You were here for Jihad, right?

What Jihad, sir!

Look, there is no point crying now.

Just tell us the whole truth.

As you say, sir.

Q: How many shots did you fire?

Kasab: I don't know.
We just kept firing.

Q: Whom were you told to kill?

Q: For how long did you
plan to operate today?

They ordered us, "Until you're alive
keep firing, dogs!"

Q: That's what they said? Yes!

We are also human beings!

I wasn't sure
where I was going to go.

So, I was in limbo
for about six months.

I spent my days...
journaling a bit, taking walks.

I started answering the e-mails
that had come in.

Something about what happened
with Alan and Naomi's photos...

it became very personal.

And people felt for that loss
and wanted to reach out,

and express those feelings to me.

They came from India, Pakistan
and South America and...

There were like close
to a thousand of them.

"Alan and Naomi will live forever
in all of us."

"This is not a time
for expressing hate,"

but a time for strength...

to show the whole world
we stand united,

"and never surrender to those
who kill in the name of Islam."

"Your Iranian family."

There was something...

very precious happening.

Something got ignited
in people's hearts.

On the first anniversary
of the terror attack,

Kia and members
of her meditation community,

articulated a response
to the violence.

It was honouring the oneness of life,

In the summer of 2010, I was...

thinking a lot about...

I wanted to introduce this to India.

It was important for the people
of Mumbai to know about this.

And I wanted to invite
the support of Mr. Oberoi.

So I sent him an e-mail,


we chatted,

and he invited me to be his guest.

On the 26th of November 2010,

Kia marked the second anniversary
of the terror attack,

with a peace program
at the Oberoi Trident,

where she spoke about
forgiving the terrorists.

Intuitively, I felt,

that we must forgive them,
they know not what they do.

And I am not saying

that I even knew
what forgiveness was in that context.

Because there wasn't anybody
to really forgive.

It wasn't a personal thing at all.

It was much bigger than that.

It was a much bigger
kind of forgiveness.

I just want to share
with you something that

I learned about
what forgiveness actually is.

It's not about the other person.

It's not about releasing
anybody else.

So, it's not about pardoning anybody,

or condoning something.
Or letting anybody off the hook.

It's about releasing yourself,

from holding negative thoughts
and feelings.

I have gone through my peace,
inner peace is here.

I know how to forgive people.

My mom struggles,

and she is sitting right there.

She is in tears
thinking about all that.

To be unforgiving,
is like taking poison,

and hoping your enemy dies.

But we're the ones
that have taken the poison.

After 2010,

Kia returned to India every year,
to work on initiatives,

that attempted
to dissolve boundaries,

and foster peace
in a variety of ways.

Inspired by Kia,

students of the suburban
St. Andrews College,

took up an educational project

with children from
underprivileged backgrounds.

They wanted to bring
educational programmes,

and help them
with their computer skills,

and Math and learning English.

Lots of them showed up, for about
ten weeks every Sunday.

This is little Anjun.

I was sitting next to her.

It was English lesson.
We were just practicing,

"What is your name?"

"Where are you from?"

You know, standard questions,
and then...

"Do you have a husband
and do you have children?"

Then she was...

So I thought, well, might as well
just tell her the truth.

I said,"Yes, but my husband
and my daughter,

were both killed
in 26/11 terror attacks."

Her eyes got really wide
and she just said, "Oh, no!"

And then she wanted to know
more about my daughter.

I said, "She was thirteen and
next week is her birthday..."

on Friday."

Friday came...

the day of Naomi's birthday.

I had a quiet day
and that night I was in bed,

and about 10:30 in the evening
the phone rings.

So, I answered the phone and...

"Hello, ma'am!"


"Yes, ma'am."

I said, "Anjun. Hello."

And she said, "Well, isn't today
your daughter's birthday?"

I said, "Yes, it is."

She said, "Please don't cry, ma'am."

Ten years old...

"Please don't cry, ma'am."

What motivated me
to keep coming back...

Because naturally I would imagine

what it must've been like
under the table.

And what it must've been like
in that restaurant.

And what it must've been like
after everybody was shot.

And it was a horrible image
to have in my mind.

It was just unbearable.


and I just, I just thought...
I just...

I just felt compelled.

I just said,
"I refuse to leave the memory,"

of my husband and daughter

lying on the floor
of that restaurant.

Peace is an everyday operation.

And it's not just the absence of war
or the absence of a riot,

or the absence of a terrorist attack.

Peace is something we can bring
on a daily basis.

Perhaps, preventing conflict.

Perhaps, preventing violence.

The way she has accepted
a tough situation...

her example has given me
the strength,

to be accepting of things,
good or bad.

We've got to turn the tide of terror.

And that means we are going to
have to shift our thinking.

We've got to shift our paradigm.

From where to where?

Well, it's from conflict and violence

to collaboration, connection...

Instead of exclusion, violence,
separation, war...

Affirm life.

At 7.30 am today,

25 year old Ajmal Kasab was
hanged to death at the Yerwada jail.

After the President of India rejected
his mercy plea on November 5th,

Kasab had exhausted
all his legal remedies.

Within 48 hours, the Home Minister
authorized his execution.

There's been such fury
against Ajmal Kasab

who was the only 26/11 terrorist
captured alive.

[His execution has brought closure
to so many families.]

[Our bureau head from Mumbai
joins us now...]

So you'll be back next year?

You know when I leave,
I never really know for sure.

I never know for sure.

I have to just keep going.

That's all I can do...

all I can do...

Because to me this city
is Alan and Naomi.

It's Alan and Naomi.

But they're not just here.

Oh look! It's so beautiful.

Where are you going to meet
Sister Selmi for rakhi this year?

Sarni. Never been there before,
but there's always a first time.

No matter where Sister is,
I visit her every year for rakhi.

It's been 14 years?
Yes, 14 years.

What do people say
about your relationship?

They don't understand it.

They say, "He must have
become a Christian."

"They must be serving him meat...
desecrating him."

People say a lot of things...
I don't pay attention to it.

I just do what I believe in.

Have you changed your religion?

No, I haven't. I haven't converted.

What's important is that
Sister Selmi is my sister,

Stephen is my brother,

and their parents
are also my parents.

Then, what is the need
to change my religion?

You tell me... is there a need?

This event of 1984 has completely
changed the course of my life.

And no matter what I do,
what I don't do,

I can't get those years back.

I believe, things do happen...

when you are faced with a decision,

even though, at that time my decision
was more of an emotional one.

But, if circumstances rise,

even now, if the same events happen,

and I am faced with
the same kind of dilemma,

I will take
the step of rebellion but,

my actions might be different.

Because one thing I have learnt
over the years,

is that violence is always
a short cut.

And most of the time,

it boomerangs.

Hello, it's been so many years.

Thank you.

That's my wife.

That's my husband.

- Hi, Ashok. How are you?
- Fine.

During the almost year-long
filming of this documentary,

both Avantika and Kuki
expressed a desire to meet.

They had not seen each other since
Avantika's visit to Kuki's home

in 2004.

And so, in the summer of 2016,

Avantika and her husband Ashok Tanwar

invited Kuki, his wife
and daughter to their home in Sirsa.

Please, come in.

Hello, dear. And her name?


This is the younger one.
And he is the older one.

The cook hasn't come yet?


Make the rotis!

I can't have any more.

♪ The curtains of your lashes flutter,
disturbed and uneasy ♪

♪ Let me fill them with dreams
of a bright morning ♪

♪ Little fairies have sent you
sweet sleep in lovely letters ♪

♪ So many hopes and dreams
in tiny colourful envelopes ♪

♪ The curtains of your lashes flutter,
disturbed and uneasy ♪

♪ Look, the moon sings for you
a soothing lullaby ♪

♪ Swathed in cool breeze ♪

♪ The night jasmine
sends you sweet fragrance ♪

♪ Look, the moon sings for you
a soothing lullaby ♪

♪ Swathed in cool breeze, ♪

♪ The night jasmine
sends you sweet fragrance ♪

♪ Peering through the window,
is a merry band of stars... ♪

♪ Promising to keep you company
until you fall asleep ♪

♪ The curtains of your lashes flutter,
disturbed and uneasy ♪

♪ Let me fill them with dreams
of a bright morning ♪

♪ Little fairies have sent you
sweet sleep in lovely letters ♪

♪ So many hopes and dreams
in tiny colourful envelopes ♪

♪ The curtains of your lashes flutter,
disturbed and uneasy ♪